By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
The Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) will bring together Muslims from across Oklahoma for the 2nd annual Muslim Day at the Capitol on Friday, February 26,
The first Muslim Day at the Capitol in 2015 drew more than 150 registered attendees.
From 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., participants will meet with their representatives and discuss the issues affecting Oklahoma’s Muslim Community. Participant check-in and breakfast begins at 8:45 a.m. Lunch will be served at noon in the 2nd Floor Rotunda.
With more than 200 Muslims from around the state expected to participate, the event will feature a series of workshops – including special sessions for youth – focused on civic engagement in the Muslim community of Oklahoma.
According to a CAIR press release, this event is designed to connect the Muslim community with lawmakers, promote civic engagement and educate attendees on issues of equality and social justice. The day will also include a voter registration drive.
Tickets are $30 per person and $15 per student. It includes breakfast and lunch and a CAIR-OK Legislative Advocacy Toolkit. Sponsor tickets are $100 each and include preferred seating and recognition in the program.
Organizers say that this event is educational, empowering and vital to the success of the community.
Featured speakers will include State Representatives Emily Virgin (D-44) and George Young (D-Oklahoma City).
Rep. Young Sr. will serve as keynote speaker during a special afternoon session
The event is an opportunity for community members to learn the intricacies of state and local government, meet their political representatives, and develop the skills to be effective advocates for their community.
“At our 2016 Oklahoma Muslim Day at the Capitol, we are expanding our program to accommodate more attendees, to host special sessions for high school and college students, and to hold a special Keynote session prior to Jumna prayer at the Capitol,” said Adam Soltani, CAIR executive director.
The event begins at 9:30 a.m. with the opening prayer, the National Anthem and welcoming remarks.
At 10 a.m., Session 1 will feature the topics Oklahoma and the Public Education Crisis; Prescott v. Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission: The 10 Commandments, Sharia Law, and the Separation of Church and State; and Youth 1: The Largest Generation: The Importance of Millennial Civic Engagement According to The Center for Information and Research on Civil Learning & Engagement.
Session 2, at 11 a.m., will explore the following issues: How Social Media Organizing Helps Achieve Cultural Change; Reasonably Suspicious: Religious Profiling and What We Lose When Law Enforcement Targets American Muslims; and Youth 2: Activism and Faith beyond the Classroom.
During the afternoon session at 1 p.m. Rep Young will present the keynote speech titled, “Decision 2016: The Importance of Civic Engagement for the American Muslim Community.”
At 2 p.m., the day will conclude with an interfaith prayer led by Imam John Ederer of the Islamic Society of Tulsa.
“During an election year, and especially in a time of increasing Islamophobia and prejudice, it is important to engage the Muslim community with their elected representatives and to encourage civic participation,” said CAIR-OK Civil Rights Director Veronica Laizure.
“Through positive and proactive events like this, we politically empower each other to speak effectively on the issues that affect the Muslim community and the entire state.”
The mission of CAIR-OK is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
CAIR-Oklahoma is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) grassroots that serves the entire state of Oklahoma through its Oklahoma City office.
CAIR-Oklahoma is a chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group with chapters nationwide. The national headquarters is located on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C.
To register or for more information visit www.cairoklahoma.com.